Interstate Teacher Mobility Compact Aims to Address Teacher Shortages

The movement to get teachers back into classrooms is gaining momentum—and we need your expertise to help draft the legislation.

Topics: Advocacy and Legislation, Teacher Effectiveness

Teacher shortages have become the great equalizer in education, with schools of all sizes, demographics, and localities feeling the strain. This isn’t a new issue, but it has increased substantially nationwide. The pandemic alone has affected school staffing two-fold: adding greater pressure to those already in the teaching field, causing many to leave the field, and impacting the teacher pipeline as fewer college students than ever are declaring education as their preferred profession.

What would it look like to remove the barriers to license portability and employment for teachers in schools? The Interstate Teaching Mobility Compact (ITMC) is in the works—and NAESP is proud to have been a part of the conversation since this concept started gaining steam.

Introducing the ITMC

Led by the Council of State Governments, in partnership with the Department of Defense and the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification, the movement to support the mobility of licensed teachers is now one step closer to reality. As a constitutionally authorized, legislatively enacted, legally binding agreement among states who sign on, the ITMC would allow teachers to use an eligible license held in a compact member state to be ranted an equivalent license in another compact member state. Simply put, this would get teachers back into the classroom more seamlessly.

Benefits for Teachers

The ITMC offers many benefits to those in the teaching profession. The ITMC would:

  • Eliminate barriers to teaching licensure while maintaining a high level of teaching practice;
  • Remove the need for reexamination and additional testing and administrative fees after moving between states; and
  • Increase the ability to seek employment from a broader pool of schools and districts to find the best fit for their teaching experience and career.

What’s Next?

Interstate compacts take time to develop and implement because they enhance the mobility of teachers, preserve state sovereignty, and create the ability of state regulatory boards to coordinate and cooperate to protect the public. Each state must enact the ITMC model legislation to join the compact. The Council of State Governments is leading the review process to receive input and feedback on the model legislation, with the goal to have it finalized for introduction during 2023 state legislative sessions.

How You Can Help

An initial draft of the ITMC has been completed, and the draft is available for review and public comment. That’s where your expertise comes in. Your input is invaluable as we continue to fine tune this compact.

To learn more and to view the draft compact and offer your feedback, visit the Council of State Governments website and fact sheet on the ITMC. There, you’ll also find links to register for an ITMC review meeting, where you will be encouraged to offer your input during a public comment period.